‘If it’s serious and urgent, send them over…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., appears to be winning the battle with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., to determine the rules for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
At least eight Senate Democrats said that Pelosi should send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Sen. Diane Feinstein of California, the top Democrat in the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Jan. 8 that the impeachment trial should begin.
“If we’re going to do it, she should send them over,” Feinstein said, Politico reported. “I don’t see what good delay does.”
She even exposed the House Democrats’ hypocrisy: They claim Trump is an existential threat to the nation, yet they have delayed the articles of impeachment that could remove him from office.
“The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,” Feinstein said. “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”
Making matters worse for Pelosi, McConnell said yesterday that he has the votes necessary to set the rules for the impeachment trial, as moderate Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have agreed to the majority leader’s plan.
McConnell plans to conduct the impeachment trial according to the rules used during President Bill Clinton’s trial.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a vulnerable West Virginia Democrat, said the impeachment trial should begin.
“I think it needs to start, I really do… Let us do what we have to do over here,” he said.
Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut stated more clearly that Pelosi should send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“I think the time has passed,” Murphy said. “She should send the articles over.”
“We are reaching a point where the articles of impeachment should be sent,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal also defended the reason for Pelosi’s delay, arguing that Democratic Senators would continue the battle that she began.
“We were ready on the day the articles were voted, to conduct the trial,” Blumenthal said. “At some point it’s appropriate to send them and in effect pass the baton to senators who are going to continue to insist on witnesses and documents.”
Sens. Angus King, I-Maine (who caucuses with Democrats), Doug Jones, D-Ala., John Tester, D-Mont., and Chris Coons, D-Del., also came out in support of beginning the impeachment trial, Politico reported.
When former National Security Advisor John Bolton announced on Jan. 6 that he is willing to testify in an impeachment trial, reporters thought Pelosi was on the verge of declaring victory.
Quite amazing. A seismic shift in leverage. Before just two hours ago, most Rs and even Ds privately thought Schumer & Pelosi would send the articles w/ no witness agreement since McConnell had the upper-hand. Bolton just changed all that. https://t.co/FCKMMs0Ctx
— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) January 6, 2020
It was never made clear what “leverage” Pelosi had that would force McConnell to make a deal regarding new documents and witness testimony.
Even Democrats admitted that Pelosi’s so-called leverage was thin.
“We need to get folks to testify and we need more information … but nonetheless I’m ready,” Tester said. “I don’t know what leverage we have. It looks like the cake is already baked.”